A to Z of Judaism

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

From Kabbalah To Kotel

Kabbalah
Jewish mystical tradition, based on the book the Zohar, written in the second century by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai.

Kaddish
Mournerís prayer, written in Aramaic. Refers to the greatness of God and is meant to elevate the soul of the deceased.

Kallah
Hebrew word for bride.

Kapparot
Literally translates as atonements. A ritual carried out on Erev Yom Kippur, whereby either a live chicken or a small bag of coins is waved over the head to act as atonement for sin. The chicken is then slaughtered and given to the poor, or the money donated to charity.

Keriyah
The act of tearing oneís clothes upon hearing of the death of a close relative.

Kiddush
Translates literally as sanctification. Prayer over wine recited on Shabbat and festivals, at the beginning of the holiday meal.

Kiddushin
The first part of the traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, where the bride is given a ring by the groom.

Kiggel/Kuggel
Translates from the Yiddish as pudding. A traditional dish that can be made sweet or savoury, from either potatoes or noodles. Usually served on Shabbat and festivals.

Kippah
Skullcap worn by Jewish men.

Kislev
The ninth month of the Jewish year. Chanukah begins on the 25th of the month.

Kitniyot
Rice, corn and legume-based foods that are forbidden to Ashkenazim to consume during Pesach but permitted in the Sephardi tradition.

Kneidlach
Matzo-balls, or dumplings, usually served in chicken soup.

Kosher
Translates from Hebrew as fitting or correct. Refers to food that is permissible according to Jewish law, as well as other ritual objects that meet all their halachic requirements.

Kotel
The Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall, is the last remnant of the Temple in Jerusalem, destroyed by the Romans in the year 70CE.

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